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Google Joins Open edX

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the by-your-sources-combined dept.

Education 29

lpress writes "Google and MIT have both built open source MOOC platforms and offered innovative MOOCs. They have just announced the establishment of, a non-profit organization that will provide a platform to develop, host, and research online courses. The devil is, no doubt, in the details, but this combination of MIT's educational expertise and reputation, Google's vast infrastructure, and the lofty goals of both organizations might turn out to be revolutionary." From Google's research weblog: "Google and edX have a shared mission to broaden access to education, and by working together, we can advance towards our goals much faster. In addition, Google, with its breadth of applicable infrastructure and research capabilities, will continue to make contributions to the online education space, the findings of which will be shared directly to the online education community and the Open edX platform." Course Builder will continue to be maintained for the time being, but eventually Google will "provide an upgrade path to Open edX and from Course Builder."

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*sigh* (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#44819773)

Cynically I'm forced to conclude Google is doing this to get access to the information on all of those students to make even more money from.

Optimistically, I think it's potentially a good idea, but we'll see what they actually do.

Re:*sigh* (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44819993)

Cynically I'm forced to conclude Google is doing this to get access to the information on all of those students to make even more money from.

And to introduce more back doors for their boss.

Instead of compiling, they are profiling.

Everything has been compromised, from baby formula to missile guidance systems, everything. 'Trust' has been reduced to a punchline.

Re:*sigh* (5, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year ago | (#44820153)

More backdoors implied they already created backdoors in the first place. Currently there is no evidence they created any in the first place.

This is what we do know:

1. Google is required by law to hand over data when they get a request, such as through a NSL.
2. Google said their process for handling this request is to FTP data over to the government. The government never gets direct access to any of their systems.
3. Google publishes a transparency report on what government requests they receive.
4. Google is fighting the US government on the NSL process and suing to make that more transparent.
5. When Bush asked for all search data on all users, Google was the only search engine to refuse.
6. Google went so far as to discuss creating off-shore datacenters to place user data outside the reach of the government.
7. They're encrypting data sent from one Google data center to another to make sure the government can't attempt to intercept it in the middle. And they anonymize user data sooner.

This is the only company we've seen actively fight to protect your data from the government. So why are people creating fiction that Google is the one that is evil here, and not the US government?

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820321)

Citation Needed [...]

Re:*sigh* (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#44820359)

Actually, only "1" is correct. The rest are mostly half-baked truths.

Re:*sigh* (4, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | about a year ago | (#44820433)

They've documented 2.
3 is right fucking here - []
4 is documented in their court battle []
5 was documented
6 was documented []
7 was documented,0,3652913.story []

All are verifiable and you're full of shit.

Re:*sigh* (0)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#44820497)

Idiot. Oh, sorry, even the most stupid idiot already know that if NSA does not wanna any request to be published, Google MUST obey.
No, really, are you still playing AngryBirds? Please, start throwing yellow and red birds around and stop trying to look smart, because guess what, it does not work.
Oh, and one more fact for your little brain, look who ex-gov-nsa top manager is working for Google now.
I just wonder, whether i am the idiot, who tries to educate another idiot.....

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44828437)

> I just wonder, whether i am the idiot


> who tries to educate another idiot


Re:*sigh* (3, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44821379)

Surely, you can't be serious! Are we really expected to see a press release as evidence? I say send in a UN inspection team, for appearances, if nothing else.

Re:*sigh* (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44824889)

a UN inspection team
I don't mean to be a Grammar Nazi, but come on. Yes, it's just a joke, but you actually had to press more buttons just to mess up "uninspection team".

Re: *sigh* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821187)

of course there's backdoors. bit did you bother to do any BASIC research before typing rubbish? Nope. It does not seem you have. Just wondering, are you a Google employee? I've been told their PR damage control is working overtime, trolling public forums, newsgroups, sites such as slashdot, spreading vile propaganda how google has no backdoors and how they are so 'open'.. well. I have news for you: go fuck yourself.

Re:*sigh* (1)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#44821669)

Because they're the biggest player on the internet. They're the easiest target. And not to mention there's a fair amount of propoganda put out by the U.S. government itself against Google. It's an attack from all fronts, including the legal one (the streetview debacle). And I wonder how much of that was a government plant whose job was to give the government legal leverage against them. I mean, what idiot engineer would specifically hack the streetview cars to collect open wi-fi data?

That's not to say that we shouldn't hold Google accountable for any actions they do that may be less than ethical. But to point fingers at them for the wrong reasons just weakens any legitimate concerns.

Re:*sigh* (1)

HiThere (15173) | about a year ago | (#44826353)

I really doubt that the street-view thing was a government plant. I also, however, doubt that Google management planned it. In either case I'd need good evidence. (Not proof, which one can't expect to get in that kind of a situation, and I'll admit that even getting evidence about motivations, and who decided what, is quite iffy.)

Re:*sigh* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821675)

Dude, you got a bunch of liberal terms in one post. Sigh, Cynical, what a liberal wanker. Don't get scroogled.

MOOC=? (2)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#44819859)

MOOC stands for massive open online course [] .

Re:MOOC=? (1)

liquidpele (663430) | about a year ago | (#44819923)

Thanks... couldn't help but read it as "moo C[ow]"

Re:MOOC=? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | about a year ago | (#44819967)

It's not Monkeys Operating Online Computers?

Re:MOOC=? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820683)

what's great about this is doesn't seem to define it either (atleast not without digging around).

Seriously, this kind of expecting everyone to know an acronym you just made up is why the "buzzword bingo" commercial was so funny.

Re:MOOC=? (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#44824903)

MOOC - My Other Open is a Course

Best MOOC since '98 (4, Insightful)

chuckinator (2409512) | about a year ago | (#44819903)

Google is the best MOOC every since they opened their doors in '98, but you have to brush up on your research skills to appreciate it.

awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820181)

and now: mooc

Not true (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#44820341)

Google's mission is to satisfy it's shareholder, not to educate.
Here i fixed it for you. Please, next time, pay more attention to details.

Re:Not true (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44828129)

Yeah and guess what genius? The shareholders with majority voting control in Google are the same two geeks that founded it and that have a passion for causes like education: []

In Google's case, the shareholders that get to decide how the company works aren't some mystical unknown investment company that controls the company from the shadows but the very two people that founded it.

prototype quality software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820725)

Hope someone's going to contribute a decent forum software. edX' forum was both broken and toyish last time I used it. Other areas felt quite immature as well, for example score didn't remember previous attempts to keep the best result.

In general, my impression was that edX was built for looks. Compared to Coursera, which can feel outdated but makes a decent tool.

GOOGlemonster wants to learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44820767)

everything about you, so it can donate the data to the NSA

In response to MS or copying MS (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about a year ago | (#44820913)

Businesses love getting involved in education because you create a following. MS did in in the 90s and now Google is trying to put their name on education. Wether its a business decision or Google just being "PRO EDUCATION" is something only they know.

I didn't read the proposal in details but it sounds like they are trying to go head to head with Khan Academy.

Re:In response to MS or copying MS (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44828179)

To be fair both Sergey and Larry as well as also Bill Gates (who was still in charge of MS in the 90s) all have a genuine passion for education.

As geeks they share the perception that many other geeks do, that education is the cure to many of the world's ills such as discrimination, poverty, and overpopulation. They're not robots and like you and I they have political opinions and thoughts on the best solution to certain problems.

It's not surprising therefore that all of them would have such a focus on education which feeds through into their company's actions and products because they believe it's a solution to some of the world's greatest political and social problems.

Contrary to popular belief, corporate leaders are capable of doing things for a reason other than profit optimisation. This doesn't mean that they wont also try and monetise said actions but the reason for entering the market in the first place could well be primarily simply the fact that they genuinely believe that education matters.

I work in financial services but contrary to the view of financial services companies caused by the action of the banks some of us firms are actually quite responsible and I get charity days (where I get paid to spend a few work days instead doing charity work for a charity of my choice) each year and we do lots of charity fundraising events simply because our CEO recognises that our company has the spare capacity financially to also give something back whilst still making a profit elsewhere.

Google taints others (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44821935)

You know, 5 years ago when I said that Google strayed from their first days as a geeky search engine into a megalomart of advertising just to get filthy rich, everyone thought I was over analyzing.

The important thing to note is that any company, group, or purchase by them now taints that service and puts a pox mark on it too.

Let's see what Google has done in the past and see if it's legitimate for a "search engine".

Made a search engine. - ok
Made Google Analytics to track your website information for you. - for me huh, funny you get that information too
Made Adsense and Adwords to be the go between selling ads then displaying the ads in a network - no way that could be milked
Made Gmail to give everyone free email, says never delete it. - translation "WE never delete it so that we can use it forever against you"
Makes all sorts of widgets and gadgets for free. - discontinues them at will and without regard to public desire, only profitability
Makes a font library of free fonts you could download FOR FREE YOURSELF - suggests that you link to their site so that you tell them about every page visit without using their analytic service
Releases lots of code that amazingly, links to them.
Takes a picture of every building they can find and maps out all the streets, even outside their home country - no red flag there
Decided to capture and digitize every book, bought Captcha and used it to make people using forms type out what the digital images say.
Made Google places - shows google places search results first, clearly unbiased
Forces you to link accounts together so that they can inflate their user statistics and usage of services in reporting.

They have such a bad reputation with me now, I don't trust one company that associates with them. It's a death of service with you to tell me that you are a "Google Partner". They seemed shady long before NSA co-operation was outed. If you don't have google services blocked in your host records, you are being tracked everywhere you go online and they are all too willing to use that data any way they like, with or without your permission.

What's a MOOC? Ya mook! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44822677)

What's a MOOC? Ya mook!

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